You Must Remember This

Catalogue Essay by Kent Wilson 2011
Inscribed by time, marked by history and floating in a blackened void of implied vastness, Tara Gilbee sets before us a collection of gathered artefacts. And not unlike icons cast up on the walls for us to decipher in an exchange of give and take, these images are conduits of transfer. They provide us with hints of their utility, with fragments of text, words and scribbles that imply a proscriptive intent – they are guides. But they don’t give us enough. They are like a rosetta stone or a broken code to be translated through a process of gap filling. Who wrote these, why did they write them, and where are these people now? Only the invocation of the vast void within which they now flounder can offer recourse, if any, as we project our own histories into the well.

This is forensic grappling. The documented nature of the original artefacts, photograms of lists and notes collected by the artist over time, give the images a sense of focused inspection. Light has been poured over scraps of paper, reacting with the film below, and leaving an indelible imprint of the materiality of the original. These are shadowed reflections. A once important task, a fleeting significance, now monumentalised here as a granite asteroid.

The rich blacks, deep and heavy, envelope the space and create a still and silent ambience. Not unlike a library or secret archival storehouse, the works hush the space. The granite and marble textures of the captured notes read like tombstones and reinforce a sense of reverence. Floating and drifting like weathered leaves or planetary palimpsests. Fleeting and ethereal paper, fragile and transitory, chiselled into solidity and structure.

Time spent in the space is rewarded with a fluctuating and oscillating sense of slippage. The works walk a tense tightrope between figuration and abstraction, between minimalism and complexity, and between dynamism and stasis. As soon as you grasp one aspect, the other creeps in to take over - only to slip back away again. What at first appears to be a set of black and grey abstract patterns, not unlike Rothko paintings stripped of colour and materiality, and rendered in flattened photographic prints, suddenly emerge as clearly documentary images of actual things. But just as quickly as that transition is made, they slip back into abstraction, and the mind grapples with other interpretations of the forms.  The flatness gives way to depth thanks to the unfocused sections of the photograms generated by the folds in the original notes. The scribbles flip between random markings and legible text.  All this within an invocation of the universal sublime.

I hope you enjoy this series of works as much as I do, and that you find your own rambling meanings amongst the beautiful imagery.

Kent Wilson 2011

Thanks: goes to Stockroom and Colour Factory: The staff's professional handling of the artworks and production was impeccable! As well as my friends Kathryn McCool, Tony Cameron and Robyn Walton for their continued support. Also to Punctum Inc and their funding supporters for the opportunity to attend Inhabit International in France; as well Regional Arts Victoria for supporting my professional development through their quick response grants.


Please review the page titled Noirlac Research Residency for ongoing updates and information about the project. 

I am not a regular blogger, so the updates will be sporadic,  however I am interested if you would like to add comment or if you also have inspiration to share! 

The project is open for comment and input and I would love other artistic responses.

Please see the link to the Abbaye for some background, it is in French, I can fill you in on some details if you have specific questions.

France via Hongkong and lots of waiting

I have made my way to France for the beginning of the Inhabit Residency. The journey was long with a 5hr stop over in Hongkong so I am just beginning to land in this time zone.

I will post a few pictures taken on route to the France in this post.

I will create a separate page for my project at Abbaye Noirlac see tabs on home page.

The weekend I arrived a fantastic artist group ZUR where presenting their research for a performance in May 2012

The work was presented in most of the buildings of the Abbaye and the work was an encounter with the poetics of the space, it enchanted audiences with kinetic sound and light pieces that entranced and enlivened curiosity.

What a wonderful way to venture within the Abbaye and begin the residency ..... now what can I do...

In-Habit International residency September

Stay tuned for more information regarding my upcoming residency at  Abbaye  Noirlac in France September

Abbaye Noirlac

Brief explanation of Punctum's In-Habit International program

Punctum, in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia, manages an international arts research and cultural exchange program – In-Habit International.

Each year through this program Victorian artists working across contemporary art forms that incorporate cultural exchange are awarded a grant to live and work with a host arts organisation in an overseas country.

Four exchanges are offered per year.

What is In-Habit International?

The aim of our arts research and cultural exchange program is for either

• Regionally based Victorian artists to have access to new and stimulating international environments.

• For metropolitan based Victorian artists to have access to new and stimulating regional environments internationally.

We support artists who seek to learn about their host country and its artistic practices and to contribute to the cultural life in the local community of the Host Organisation. Our hope is that these exchanges will result in ongoing relationships between regions, artists and cultural organisations in Victoria and globally.

The cultural exchanges are professional development opportunities celebrating regional arts practice for Victorian arts practitioners and also act to foster reciprocal relationships between artists and arts organisations.

In-Habit International focuses on arts practice that engages with the site, place and arts orientation of a particular Host Organisation and its surrounding community. Cross art form practices and those that embrace the fabric of everyday life and straddle the boundaries of art, science and technology, social activism, design and architecture and live art are also eligible.